Themed Book Lists
The Internet and cats may go together like peanut butter and jelly, but there are some great books out there for cat lovers, too. Do you have a favorite book that’s not on the list? We’re always taking suggestions! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post it as an extra to this list.
- Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa.
This international bestseller from Japan tells a heartwarming story about the power of kindness. Told from Nana the cat’s point of view, this story follows Nana and her owner as they travel around Japan by van, visiting old friends.
- A Street Cat Named Bob and How He Saved My Life by James Bowen.
Moving from Japan to England, the author recounts how, as a desperately struggling musician, he encountered a very ill stray cat and couldn’t help but take him in, even though he was struggling to feed himself. This story was such a hit that it spawned not only sequels and a children’s book but also a movie–which you can also borrow from the library!
- Talk to the Paw by Melinda Metz.
Romance meets felines in this fun tale (tail?) of a woman and her cat, MacGyver, who is determined to set her up with a handsome neighbor by stealing various possessions of his. The humans have ideas of their own, though, and it will take a little more than a cat’s intervention to get things started for this couple.
- The Cat Who Went to Paris by Peter Gethers.
This memoir of a man who is given a kitten when he doesn’t even like cats turns into a chronicle of their travels around the world and includes encounters with such personalities as Roman Polanski and Harrison Ford. The good news? If you like this, there are two more books about Peter and Norman’s life together.
- Claw the System: Poems from the Cat Uprising by Francesco Mariuliano.
This collection of poems, ostensibly by cats, is the newest work from the author of I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats (also available from the library). These poems are sure to get you laughing! Covering topics such as jealousy of other pets, hatred of cat clothing, and the desire to knock things over, this collection is a must-read.
- Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper.
The author of this book already had two cats but when her vet called about a three-week-old eyeless kitten in need of a home, she couldn’t resist. Despite other people’s dire predictions of the kitten’s limitations, he surpassed all expectations, and Homer and Gwen formed a strong, lasting bond.
This book is an affirming reminder that different abilities do not have to hold us back.
- Parisian Cats by Olivia Kiang-Snaije.
This book is mostly fun for its beautiful color photos of felines around Paris. It combines armchair travel with cute cats and is especially nice to curl up with on a wintry night when you want some simple diversion.
- The True Tails of Baker and Taylor: The Library Cats Who Left Their Pawprints on a Small Town… And the World by Jan Louch.
Travel to a very small-town library in western Nevada to meet Baker and Taylor, a pair of Scottish Folds who become the mascots for the library and for the community–as well as controlling the library’s mouse problem!
- Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter.
No mention of library cat books would be complete without this heartwarming story of a cat who, as a kitten, was left in a library book return overnight and was lucky to survive in the cold–and not to be crushed by returned books Instead, the feisty feline finds a forever home in the library.
- Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Miranda James.
If you want a side of cozy mystery with your tales of library cats, check out this book, the first in a series, that chronicles the crime-solving adventures of Maine Coon cat Diesel and his owner, Charlie, a librarian and sleuth.
- Cat out of Hell by Lynne Truss.
If you are interested in a less cozy murder mysteries involving cats, check out this somewhat odd novel by the author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, in which a librarian trying to investigate the death of his wife discovers a talking cat who may be implicated in the crime.
- Cat Zero by Jennifer Rohn.
For people who enjoy both cats and science fiction, this may be right up your alley! It follows a scientist studying an obscure cat virus. When the virus goes epidemic, she joins forces with some unusual characters to try to get to the bottom of the mystery.
- Downton Tabby by Chris Kelly.
This book is exactly what it looks like: a parody of t.v.’s huge hit, Downton Abbey, with an all-feline cast. It’s good clean fun and a light read, right for any occasion.
Not all of these books are directly related to Hanukkah, but they all speak in some way to the Jewish experience. Click on any of the titles below to see them in our online catalog, where you can request them. Don’t see your favorite Hanukkah book here? We’re always taking suggestions! Email me at email@example.com and I’ll post it as an extra to this list.
- Burning Bright: Four Chanukah Love Stories by Megan Hart, Jennifer Gracen, Stacey Agdern, and KK Hendin.
Warm up during this chilly time of year with these romantic novellas about falling in love during the Festival of Lights.
- Hanukkah in America by Dianne Ashton.
Booklist gave this book a starred review, remarking, “Religiously, Hanukkah is considered a minor Jewish festival. Ashton’s wonderfully readable, fact-packed history demonstrates, however, that in the U.S., Hanukkah isn’t minor at all. From at least the middle of the nineteenth century, it has been a vehicle for asserting solidarity among a never-large American minority and establishing that minority’s credentials as faithful Americans as well as faithful Jews.”
- Flying Couch: A Graphic Memoir by Amy Kurzweil.
This graphic memoir tells the story of three generations of Jewish women, alternating mainly between the author’s experiences in her search for a Jewish identity and her grandmother’s Holocaust experiences.
- The Worlds We Think We Know by Dalia Rosenfeld.
According to Kirkus reviews, this book offers “[s]tories about Jewish life in all its painful absurdity in the United States and in Israel,” adding that “Rosenfeld’s debut book of stories is funny, touching, awkward, and wry.” These short stories are ideal for the busy holiday season, when many of us only have a few minutes here and there to take a break into a book.
- Sons of the 613 by Michael Rubens.
According to Publishers Weekly, “channels 1980s teen movies in his outlandish YA debut about what happens when the parents are away. Isaac, a superb student, loyal Dungeons and Dragons player, and one of the few Jews in his small Midwestern town, fails to tell his parents that his Hebrew tutor has neglected to show up for weeks. He’s thus woefully unprepared for his bar mitzvah, and when his parents travel to Italy, they leave him in the hands of his comically terrifying older brother, Josh: jock, bar brawler, and “SuperJew” (the kind that wears a skull-and-crossbones yarmulke). Josh decides that Isaac needs a “real” education, and they embark on a series of adventures designed to make Isaac a man.”
- Jewish Holiday Treats by Joan Zoloth.
This book offers recipes for a wide variety of Jewish holidays, Hanukkah included. The chapter on Hanukkah includes classics like latkes and even a recipe for making your own gelt as well as instructions on how to play the dreidel game.
- The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme by Marge Piercy.
According to Booklist, “Piercy has assembled new and selected poems that reflect Jewish life as she has known it, both in the bosom of her family and out in a world hostile to the tradition. Piercy writes both of an inherited sense of Jewishness and of a faith she has come to live within.”
- The Day the Rabbi Disappeared: Jewish Holiday Tales of Magic retold by Howard Schwartz, illustrated by Monique Passicot.
Revisit or discover several traditional Jewish tales for a variety of holidays, including Hanukkah. Whether you’re looking for stories to share with the whole family or for an escape from reality into fairy tale, this collection is sure to delight.